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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

Old 21st Aug 2015, 19:38
  #3601 (permalink)  
 
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MFF Dets

When launching over the pond to sunny California for essential training for small groups of highly dangerous people accompanied by the Falcs intent on getting as many lifts per day as possible we did try to provide hot meals for the jumpers. There were always some hangers on from other agencies including one army para colonel who was a royal pain in the a***e and interfered with every programme. After feeding the troops he came up to the flight deck to enquire why his meal was taking so long. The helpful Loadie said, rather than tell him to f off and eat his AH box, that he had a spare L13 I believe ( A lamb vindaloo) to hush him up. It will dull his taste buds so he won't know that I've rimmed his tea cup.
I was always courteous to Loadies after that. It still didn't stop T**s but that's another story.






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Old 21st Aug 2015, 20:06
  #3602 (permalink)  
 
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Oh dear Doug,

Exposure to the "Loadies revenge "(rimming)" ! Fair cop sir, I still believe that serving a co pilot with a stewed teabag in his "Beefburger" without any criticism was equally meritorious. As one of the "hangers on" on an El Centro Det. Having worked my @rse off sourcing the midday meal, I hope there was never a complaint. Meanwhile, the 1 month Det to Pau was another story. With French "cuisine" available, how far could we take the Hereford heroes in culinary fortitude. Once more, with little to do during the flying day, we, the GEs went forth to source lunch, for our heroes from Hereford, and of course our front end. Not sure if "Stretch" ever got over his encounter with baby octopus heads, but it all seemed to go down a treat with the hooligans.

Smudge
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 20:55
  #3603 (permalink)  
 
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French Cuisine

While we were at the French Para school in Pau, the GE's did a fantastic job of making a buffet salad lunch for the crew and jumpers one day. They really went to town with the selection and presented everything neatly in little plastic containers. We even asked the few French free fallers to join us but they politely refused. "But we've got tons of scoff" we said.
"Yes said the French team leader but the food is all served in the little "poubelles" that French ladies put their used sanitary towels in"
Lost my appetite after that.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 21:31
  #3604 (permalink)  
 
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Ha ha, Doug, it sounds very like the lunchtime soirée I and my fellow GE Joe Ion provided some time ago. Pau was a great Det, although the on base accommodation was as usual "basic". My first chance in the RH seat to have a go at landing Albert, I think I got it down, but might have had some "gentle" help from Stretch in the LH seat. I'm still here typing on PPRuNe, so I must have got away with it. A little diversion if I may. Joe and I were both smokers at the time, and whilst waiting for the return of Albert one evening, were enjoying a fag and a chinwag in our hired vehicle. Imagine our surprise when a chap pokes his head in the left hand open window, and says "ere lads, can I borrow your wheels ?", we immediately christened this bloke James Bond and handed over the vehicle to him. He proceeded to ask us where the best boozers were, we told him that they were all within walking distance. He handed the vehicle back to us, and we met him later in our local haunt, turns out he was a nice lad, and even bought him a beer from our meagre allowances. I'm sure, not a new experience for Albert operatives.


Smudge
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Old 22nd Aug 2015, 10:30
  #3605 (permalink)  
 
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Pau Basse Pyrenees

This place was one of the better places to go in the summer but PTS always went when the weather in the Pyrenees went claggy. The French used the same DZ all day and it was a mare to get on in between the Noratlases doing static line and the Transall dropping French free fall. Whilst loitering we found that the Tacan cross cuts from Biarritz and Mont de Marzan were pretty accurate. (This was before SCNS). Coupled with an overhead from the NDB and stopwatch. We practised the run in in good weather whilst waiting for a gap - mostly when the French went to lunch- and it seemed to work out. When we tried it on an overcast day, the boys would emerge from the cloud within a recoverable circle of error to make the impact point. Our hosts thought that we had a blind drop capability after that. It always paid to keep the French hierarchy on side or it was tripe for dinner in the Casino or officers' mess. It was only us that seemed to be served it spookily! The Brit team leader was called Monsieur Smoo locally and did not care for diplomacy. One overcast morning at met brief he announced to the assembled Anglo French paras. "The weather is OK for Rosbifs, No good for Frogs" There was a Gallic froideur.
We ate out that evening.

Last edited by Dougie M; 22nd Aug 2015 at 13:37.
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Old 22nd Aug 2015, 20:58
  #3606 (permalink)  
 
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HALO work has to become a favourite experience for me. In the run up to GW1, I was fortunate (or otherwise) to experience two months of MFF type build up with the usual team. As the potential to divert from our standard base was the norm, one of the two GEs was required to accompany the aircraft on all lifts. Now, my mate Kev was more than happy with the ground level conditions at both Minhad and Abu Dhabi, so generally we were happy for me to be sent aloft. Once above 10K with the back doors open, it was a real treat, cool air, and great views. As we went higher, even the O2 muzzle didn't diminish the relief from the heat on the ground. Simply a relief, never afforded by air conditioned hotel rooms etc. on a hot day in the UK like today, I would jump at the chance of a HALO today

Smudge
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Old 23rd Aug 2015, 08:08
  #3607 (permalink)  
 
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smudge,
if you want cool, 35000 ft HAHO and HALO in the UK in Winter, fits the bill !
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Old 23rd Aug 2015, 20:12
  #3608 (permalink)  
 
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Ha ha, AA62,

I reckon if it's cool you want a 16 hour Prop change at Gander, with a high of -21 must get close. I well remember doing it, and the brilliant support the movements staff gave us, hit soup, a 15 minute on/off cycle, and all the clearances for high power ground runs post prop change. We had a problem, it was so cold that we couldn't stop the new seals freezing as we proceeded. RAF "Enginuity" came to the fore. We built a polythene tent around the engine nacelle/prop and used two 4therm heaters to keep a reasonable -9 degrees throughout the work. The subsequent ground run on their lazy runway was fun !!! Thankfully the Captain occupied the LH seat as we hit 18K and started noting temps, torques etc, he was the only one who noted that we moved about 50 yards, pushing the chocks (they never worked well on ice). Now, the funny part of the story is that we were for once lucky. We were a 5A call out crew, and were ferrying a prop change team, and it's prop, to Bermuda. As we had all the expertise on board, and Gander had a spare prop, everything fell in to place. Once again, ASCOT airways got a result, a few hours delay but I believe the U/S crew returned to LYE only 24 hours or so late.

Smudge
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Old 23rd Aug 2015, 20:36
  #3609 (permalink)  
R4H
 
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HAHO

Guested for HATS Boscombe on a 35000ft HAHO trial at CLake. Lots of discussions with geeks ref pressure altitude density altitude IAS TAS pre-breathing etc. Best bit was that a spare crew had to be on standby after landing for a few hours and the decompression chamber had to be available at NAS San Diego. If any jumper or crew went down with bends type symptoms the spare crew had to fly everyone to SD and everyone had to go into the chamber with the casualty and be sorted. Imagine being in the chamber, knowing there was nothing wrong with you, and that the spare crew was now down in the Gaslamp area!!!!
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 18:19
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Go On R4H, give fellow Pruners a laff and tell them the name of the project.


You could not make it up.


Sad to say this project was not a great example of joined up thinking. It consumed the department budget through an enormous overspend leaving little left in the pot for anything else.


The full capability demonstrated during the trials in 1999 was not in service in 2012.


I guess A400M will solve some of the problems.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:54
  #3611 (permalink)  
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HAHO project name

Sorry Dragartist. Can't remember name and in Suffolk at the moment. Could probably look it up when back next week.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 07:13
  #3612 (permalink)  
 
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R4H,
did you use the standard a/c oxy system for your 35000 ft trial ? As I recall we had a special oxy fit at FS245 with tubes through to the flight deck.
We also had to pre oxygenate for an hour before take off. But this trial was done in the UK.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:34
  #3613 (permalink)  
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O2 35000ft

We used a system rigged on the bunk with a fast jet regulator chest mounted. Had to go to Farnborough to learn how to use it in their decompression chamber. Only problem was that our flow indicator was in the lines to the seats out of sight of the pilots and they had to be monitored by flight eng. Pre-breathing was one of the issues as we couldn't do it anywhere on the ground at CLake and we effectively pre-breathed at low cabin alt during the climb to height. If I remember correctly we did progressively higher drops but only got to just above 33000ft before the opening shocks on the jumpers was deemed to be too high. With a very low time of useful consciousness at height the transfer of jumpers between O2 systems had to be carefully run and monitored. Only one incident when HATS Alm became disconnected just as he was going to open up and passed out. Luckily he was talking on i/c at the time and we realised what had happened and carried out a rapid descent to breathable air and he was ok.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:35
  #3614 (permalink)  
 
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R4H,
thanks for the info. Back in 1975 we also had problems with the shock loading on the parachutes at 35000 feet. Pity I never recorded the parachute types. Re your ALM oxy problem. That is exactly the reason on these trials we carried two loadmasters. One for the drills and the other to see the big picture as any small snafu at those heights can swiftly escalate into a full on emergency. My dim memory tells me we were only allowed one such trip every four or five days.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 19:00
  #3615 (permalink)  
 
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O2

The jumpers down the back had an oxygen console devised back in the 60s using the old regulator but with gaseous oxygen bottles. The LOX system for the crew was not cleared for use above certain altitude so when we ventured higher on JATE we had that aforementioned "octopus" shaped collector box on the flight deck in front of the bunk fed by a gaseous oxygen tank abaft 245.
The "dolls eyes" were monitored by the flight Eng to check that we were all breathing.
For HALO it was OK because we were all connected up but for HAHO the Nav had to go back and brief the team leader on any change of heading before the final climb to altitude. After lot of to ing and fro ing the Loadie finally called that all troops were on oxygen. Well the upper winds had changed so I said, "Just going to brief the team leader" . I trotted down the back with the map and gave the new details, waved to the Loadie who was also masked up, and trotted back a bit slower. You're getting old pal, I thought. As I connected back up the Captain said "you were off before I could say stop. We were going through 18000ft unpressurised. The Loadie said that you looked OK but it gave the troops a start to see you weren't on oxygen" We changed the drills after that.







Last edited by Dougie M; 26th Aug 2015 at 05:33.
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 07:00
  #3616 (permalink)  
 
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Doug,
my memory being what it is I cannot recall the Nav coming aft to brief the team leader. When I was on JATE we had a special harness made up for the ALMs in order to carry two MK4 portable oxy bottles. A mite cumbersome but it did the job. As regards running out of puff when the a/c climbed I once had the same sensation on a route trip. Did the scan check and got back to the flight deck feeling less than A1. Looked at the cabin alt and it was passing 15000 ft. Smacked the eng on the hand and pointed. Instant switch flicking followed and normal service was resumed.
On the tanker I always stayed on oxygen until the safety valve had been persuaded to close post tanking.
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 07:16
  #3617 (permalink)  
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This is fascinating ... So outside of HALO, HAHO and Tanking ... when would the entire crew be Ox'd up like this ?
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 07:20
  #3618 (permalink)  
 
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Possibly when the vindictive ALM rolled an insecticide spray onto the flight deck while running down the freight bay laughing Coff!
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 07:24
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Naughty boy !!!
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 08:16
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Only on the odd occasion Coff.
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